Rauchbier | August Schell Brewing Company

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53 Ratings

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jera1350 on 02-26-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 44
Photo of zeledonia
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep amber brown, quite clear, with a one-finger off-white head that's not very dense, and fairly quickly drops to a layer of foam, leaving some nice lacing.

S: Initially very strong smoked wood and smoked meats (like a smokehouse), with a bit of caramel malt sweetness. After the head dies down, I catch what smells like some light hops and lager yeast.

T: Strong on the smoke initially, followed by a bit of malt and some hops that remind me of a light lager (having a hard time describing them better). This tastes strangely like a light lager with nice smoke overtones. I'm surprised by the lack of malt sweetness given the color.

M: Medium-light, with decent carbonation. It departs the mouth rather quickly.

D: This is my first rauchbier, so I'm trying to give it the benefit of the doubt and be conservative with my opinions. That said, I don't think I'll seek it out again soon. The presence of the smoke is pronounced, quite nice, and not overpowering as I find many smoked beers, but the flavors behind the smoke don't wow me. It needs something more to fill out the flavor.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A body that is about the color of strong iced tea. Just a shade of head on the pour, leaves a thin cream-colored skin. Deep smokiness in the nose, sharp and pungent. The underlying beer is a sweet, malty lager. The smokiness of the beer is done as well as any other. It is pungent and assertive, without being obnoxious or seeming like it doesn't fit in the beer. Overall, this beer is well made start to finish, a great representative of the style. This is the best non-stout smoked beer I have had the privilege of tasting.

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Photo of hardy008
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper with a 2 finger light tan head with good retention and some lacing. The aroma has smoke malt, cherry wood, caramel malt, and hops.

The taste has smoked malt, (much like smoky bacon or ham), caramel, and hops. The flavor is sweet and smoky, balanced by some bitter hops. Nicely done.

Medium bodied, above average carbonation, has a sweet and smoky aftertaste.

I like this beer quite a bit, and can see this paring nicely with some barbecued pork or brisket.

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Photo of Mdog
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear reddish-brown, good head.

Smell: A mix of chimney smoke and smoked meats.

Taste: Smoked meats-summer sausage, some mild underlying sweetness and maybe even a little hop bite at the end.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, but you can tell it has some weight behind it.

Drinkability: Very tasty, not too expensive, I'd say very good.

Stag series #3 is a winner in my book, not overpowering with smoke but definitely the main flavor. Going to have to pick up some more before it's gone!

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Photo of budgood1
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

review #900.

pours out a deep auburn colour with a thinnish light tan head with poor retention. little to no lace. smokey aroma, very sweet smelling. hard to pick out any other characteristics through the smokey haze. i like it. taste follows suit with a good deal of wood and smoke in the flavour profile, some maltiness peaks through. can't really pick up any hopping but there must be some because there is a hint of bitterness...otherwise it finishes really dry. strange mouthfeel...it certainly has a lagerish feeling body but the prickly carbonation plays tricks on the tongue. not sure what to think. alright i guess. pretty drinkable. a nice treat, as i've little experience with rauchbiers.

overall a pretty nice tasting beer from Schell's. would pair well with some good cheese and crackers. i could definitley drink a few of these. recommended.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.26/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft. On tap at Firkin Fest 2011. Pours a clear orange apricot color with a slight tan head. Bacon and smoke right off the bat in the nose. It's really all I smell in this one. Reminds meof a pan full of bacon that is starting to burn. Smoke, malt, and caramle in the flavor. The smoke is more mild than other smoke beers I have had but still stays with you after you finish your drink. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of jjanega08
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stag Series #3 Stamp on neck of bottle reads

A= Pours a dark amber color with a nice thick finger of head on it with some steady retention and solid lacing on the glass. Lighter than most other smoked beers I've had but this would be my first Rauchbier.

S= First thing I notice when I crack the glass is the smoke wafting through the room. Bacony soapy smoke. Smells like delicious pork fat. What you know about meat? Not much else is making it out of the glass just deep smokey deliciousness. Maybe a little leathery.

T= The taste is just as amazing. Leathery porky bacony and most of all tasty. Maybe a little bit of soap in the taste but not much. This is like a summer BBQ in a glass. One of the smokiest beers I've ever had but I know they can get much much more smokey. A tasty treat indeed.

M= Maybe the vigerous pour lead me to this but I got a a nice creamy smooth mouth with low to medium carbonationn.

D= This is a smoked beer they way a smoked beer should be. Nice work schells. I can't wait for the weather to warm up so I can crack a few of these around a fire of with some BBQ. What you know abuot meat?

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Photo of doucmehu
2/5  rDev -50.1%

Photo of dbossman
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark copper hue with a thick, bubbly head that dissipates rather quickly to a thin head; looks pretty bubbly; not the greatest lacing

S: Obviously a lot of smoke here but also some caramel and bready malts with a touch of lemon

T: Really smokey up front and the smoke flavor is really meaty--ham and salt; it thins out a bit in the end but a bready sweet caramel with a touch of dark fruits finish out the flavors

F: A bit too thin overall for my liking though a decent amount does stick to the back of the tongue

O: Quite smokey and bready, which is a nice combination; but I just wish it had a little more body which would help out the appearance and mouth feel

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Photo of Chaz
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, brilliant brown-amber in color, topped with creamy a brownish-tan head. Exhibits excellent lacing throughout

Nose is pretty much what I'd expected in this type, but a little sweeter and also some traces of tannic, fusel and vegetal characteristics (not "off" as such, just). Actually smells a little bit 'meaty', and indeed this is much as I remember certain examples from e.g. Spezial and other commercial bottles from Germany. Light note of 'iodine' in the nose as well, and it's always there in the style, and also sometimes in other beers with smoked and roasted malts.

Sweet, tangy, and smokey all at once! A light saltiness and less tangy through the middle of the palate, and a dry, light roasted characteristic really lingers. Lightly bitter. Light note of alcohol in the aromatic portion here, but unobtrusive. There's a very easy-going sweetness throughout, along with a plum and raisin-like fruit character which is very nice and a little surprising. Finally, there's a spiciness here that is so subtle as to be almost un-noticeable. It's almost like the spiciness you get from 'Mexican cocoa', only much more subtle, and not at all hot.

Altogether there's a good mouthfeel and very good drinkability here, and it invites a second bottle (or pint) in short order.

This is not a style that appeals to everyone, but is instead a rather rare treat even for people with an experienced palate. Still, I'd love to see the brewer's take on a Rauch Bock!

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Photo of tewaris
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6-7% ABV
30 IBUs
OG: 15.0 Plato
22 SRM
12 oz. bottle with a freshness date of 07.17.11 poured into a pint glass on 04.14.11.

Stag # 3 pours clear and dark amber, almost like a lighter brown ale; a good light tan head forms quickly and recedes just as quick to a thin but present sheet of foam on the surface. Not much of lacing either.

This is a smoked beer alright! With strong but not overwhelming notes of smoke and present malt base, this one smells quite meaty. Tastes even better with the right sweetness and an almost burnt character that I didn't see coming in the aroma or appearance: I am sure it can be attributed to the malt bill.

Finishes bitter, roasty-astringent, and dry. Carbonation is felt on the higher side given the light body, and the flavors are clean. An easy drinking beer that will compliment many foods nicely.

Scores: Appearance 4/5; Aroma 3.5/5; Taste 4.5/5; Mouthfeel 4/5; Overall 4/5

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Photo of GeezLynn
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A decent off-white head atop a dark brown, iced tea colored body. Nice clarity.

S: Heavy wood smoke, with light brown malt underneath.

T: Smokey flavors are as heavy as the smell suggests, but the malts show more complexity here, adding some caramel and toasted aspects along with a touch of sweetness. Not light on the smoke, but not overly one-dimensional either and the secondary flavors really started to show up for me about half way through a pint.

M: Impressively soft and smooth feel with light carbonation.

For its style, this is easily the best of the few Schell’s beers I’ve tried, though one or two rauchbiers is plenty for me.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A honey – brown appearance with nice carbonation. A thin egg white cap covers the beer, maybe half a finger width. As the beer is rotated around the glass, it leaves a film that dissipates slowly. It’s a very bubbly head, not very thick, more lacey.

Smell- The smoke is noticeable, it reminds me very much of bacon. Not the maple variety however, just that nice smoked bacon flavor on the nose, a little bit of woodiness also. It’s not pine, definitely more like camp fire. It’s a nice addition to pick up here.

The hop profile is non-existent, but that’s just fine for this style. Overall, this rauchbier gives off a gentle smokiness that isn’t overwhelming, and that’s a big plus.

Taste – Yeah, that’s good. The smokiness on the palate leans more towards the camp fire than the smoked bacon flavor. As it recedes, the smokiness changes to roasted malt profile. The bitterness is there, but only slightly. Not much snap to it, but this means there is more time to focus on the smoked flavor. It’s not really a “big” smoked profile, this is more of an ease you in offering.

It’s light and swiftly changes to a roasted malt taste you might find in a porter. The smoked wood / sauna taste is there and gone.

Mouth feel - What is an appropriate mouth feel for a smoked beer? It doesn’t need to be big and chewy, this is more medium and smooth, which fits the profile very well. It’s not caustic, and the smoke taste doesn’t lend itself to an overly dry finish. It’s very neutral.

Maybe falls a little farther on the ale side of the spectrum. Still, what to take away overall is that it is a fairly smooth finish, and definitely drinkable.

Overall: So far, this smoked offering is one of the easiest to drink if one is new to the style. The smoke is not overly done, as in it’s not trying to go really big. So it won’t scare new smoked beer drinkers off. And it finishes with a relatively generic roasted malt flavor.

This familiarity will also help ease in the smoke beer drinker. Add to that the fact that it’s an easy drink, and there’s no reason why the Schell’s Rauchbier shouldn’t at least be tried by those that come across it.

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Photo of Greggy
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark amber color with hints of brown. The very light tan head is rather quick to dissipate leaving no lacing.

S- Deep caramel, prunes, raisins and smoke! Minnesota butcher shops comes to mind with smoked venison. A little bit of campfire comes through as well.

T- Starts out very malty with some dark fruit notes, nice bits of smoke and a slightly dry finish.

M- Very round bock-like feel. Appropriate carbonation.

D- Schell Brewery lists this as 6-7% abv. Overall it's very drinkable and a great beer, especially with food. I hope to find more!

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Lighter brown with a three finger beige head. Lots of active carbonation make for a very tightly bubbled head with a nice creamy smooth top. Carbonation bubbles are actually pretty crazy. A little lighter than I would have expected, but amazing clarity.

S: Smoke. Dominated by a peaty, woody, scotch-like smoke. I think maybe a little maltiness would be ok, though I suppose "scotch-like" means that is what I'm smelling. But there is no other word that can describe this than smoky. There's some mineral, sine earth, but it's all just a part of the smoke.

T: Still extremely smoky, but there's a bit more of a roast that comes through, somewhat chocolatey. The smoke is there, it's intense, but it isn't overwhelming. I love it.

M: Nice carbonation and body help this beer from becoming overwhelming.

D: Good beer to drink, great beer to drink with food.

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Photo of plfahey
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Amber, with bright ruby red highlights. Brilliantly clear. Pillowy beige head with moderately high retention and some nice lacing.

Aroma-Smells a little bit rougher than tranditional smoked lagers (Schlenkerla), but still pretty darn good-wood fire, slightly hammy/bacony, and a certain, fruity wood aroma like old furniture, I believe from the cherry wood.

Flavor-The flavor is just alright after the aroma-somewhat watery smoke flavors, with notes of cherry wood and light char, similar to the wood flavors imparted by plank smoking fish or meat. A bit sweet, though rather dry in the finish. Dissipates too quickly, and lacks a depth of smokiness.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth with no harsh edges.

Pretty good attempt at a classic rauchbier, but this one falls a little flat on the flavor for me.

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Photo of I2uss
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of aliving1
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of AmericanGothic
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint. Label says this is Batch #3.

A: Pours a clear, dark copper with one finger of pale tan head. Good retention and lace.

S: Good dose of smoke with a bit of caramel malt underneath.

T: Good smoky flavor up front yields a bit to some sweet malt in the middle, but then the smoke comes back on the finish. Good stuff.

M: Fairly light and a bit creamy.

O: This is a very nice rauchbier. The smoke is assertive but never gets out of line. Glad to see such a nice example of the style from an American brewer. Another win for Schell.

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Photo of pisomojado8
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Russian River glass on 8/24/11.

Pours a dark brown with deep reddish amber hues when held to the light. Nice bubbly light colored head that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing. I would like to have seen a little lacing on this but otherwise very nice.

Smell is of some roasted malts and... Camp fire! really nice subtle smoky campfire aroma. Some sweet malt hits as well.

Taste is again a nice touch of smoke and some carmel malting. A little sweetness but not much. Interesting. I would like some more sweet to the flavor but its really nice.

Mouthfeel is moderate to medium but moves smoothly through the pallet with a nice tingle. Almost like a smoky, malty, lager feel to it.

Overall I am really surprised and impressed with this offering from Schells. I wish I could have this every fall around a Minnesota campfire in late October. Delicious.

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Photo of bwiechmann
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Around $10-11 for a six pack of 12oz bottles. Poured into a pint glass

Pours a gorgeous amber color with a small head of white foam which disappears almost instantly- very very few carbonation bubbles noticed but still an attractive beer.

Smell is primarily smoke of course but this is supported by bready caramel malt- smoke doesn't punch in the face but is assertive.

Taste is great. Smoke up front announces its presence and then lets the sweet caramel malt notes take center stage- then the smoke reappears at the end. Great balance.

Weaker mouthfeel. Excessively low carbonation- not sure if something was wrong with this bottle but the beer was nearly dead flat by the end which does not match up with what I've heard others say about this brew. Didn't detract hugely from the overall impression but hopefully the others in the 6er are better.

Drinkability is high due to deliciousness. Goes down easy but after 1 or 2, one may be overloaded with smoky goodness. Worth a try- a great beer in a style which doesn't get the attention it deserves. I'll adjust my score if carbonation is better with the next bottle.

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Photo of MinnesotaRIS
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From bottle. Amber color with a head that dissipates a bit quickly. Strong smoke aroma reminiscent if salmon or jerky. Very flavorful of smoked malt and mild hopping. Smooth mouthfeel and very pleasant aftertaste. I recommend trying this beer. Good craft of a rauchbier.

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Photo of LoadedSchells
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I see a dark crystal clear mahogany hue with a light parchment head that retains for only a few minutes with a wee bit of lacing. It wreaks of smoked meats and bonfire. I must say for a rauch this one tastes really close to the classic Bamburg Slench rauch. Of all of the rachbiers I have had this is by far closest to the authentic German variety. Heavy smoke and heavy malt makes it a delightful rauch variety. Doesn't quite have the same mouth as a German a bit light. Overall I'd say the little German town of New Ulm does a great job of representing the style. This is my favorite stag of the bunch.

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Rauchbier from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 53 ratings
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